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3 Stocks That Recently Hiked Their Dividends

As savvy investors know, dividend-paying stocks outperform non-dividend-paying stocks over the long term, and the top returners are those that increase their rates as often as possible. With these facts in mind, let’s take a look at three stocks that recently hiked their dividends, so you can decide if you should add one of them to your portfolio.

1. Sun Life Financial Inc.

Sun Life Financial Inc. (TSX:SLF)(NYSE:SLF) is the third-largest insurance company in Canada with more than $846 billion in assets under management.

In its third-quarter report on November 4 it announced a 2.6% increase to its dividend to $0.39 per share quarterly, or $1.56 per share annually, and this gives its stock a 3.65% yield at today’s levels.

It is also important for investors to make two notes. First, this was the second time that Sun Life raised its dividend in 2015. Second, the company has a medium-term objective to have a dividend payout ratio of 40-50% of net income, so its consistent growth should allow for another increase in 2016.

2. Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc.

Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. (TSX:ATD.B) is one of world’s largest owners, operators, and franchisors of convenience stores and gas stations with over 14,900 locations.

In its second-quarter earnings report on November 24, it announced a 22.7% increase to its dividend to $0.0675 per share quarterly, or $0.27 per share annually, and this gives its stock a 0.4% yield at today’s levels.

Investors should also note that Alimentation Couche-Tard has raised its dividend for six consecutive years, and it is currently on pace for 2016 to mark the seventh consecutive year with an increase.

3. Valener Inc.

Valener Inc. (TSX:VNR) is a public company that serves as an investment vehicle in Gaz Metro, which owns a diversified and largely regulated energy portfolio in Quebec and Vermont.

In its fourth-quarter report on November 27, it announced a 3.8% increase to its dividend to $0.27 per share quarterly, or $1.08 per share annually, and this gives its stock a 6.1% yield at today’s levels.

Investors should also make two important notes. First, this was the second time Valener raised its dividend in 2015. Second, the company has stated that it intends to increase its annualized dividend by approximately 4% per year through fiscal 2018.

Should you buy one of these dividend growers today?

Sun Life Financial, Alimentation Couche-Tard, and Valener recently hiked their dividends, and all represent attractive long-term investment opportunities today. Foolish investors should take a closer look at each and consider initiating positions in one of them in the near future.

Want more top dividend stock picks for 2016 and beyond?

These three top stocks have delivered dividends for shareholders for decades (and even centuries!). Check out our special FREE report: "3 Dividend Stocks to Buy and Hold Forever". Click here now to get the full story!

Fool contributor Joseph Solitro has no position in any stocks mentioned. Alimentation Couche-Tard is a recommendation of Stock Advisor Canada.

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